Israeli air strike 'kills three militants in Gaza'

Israel targeted a tunnel dug by Hamas, and accused the group of breaking a year-old ceasefire

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The Independent Online

An air strike launched by the Israeli government has killed three militants in the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas.

The Israeli military said it used its aircraft to target a tunnel where militants planned attacks on Israelis. It also accused Hamas, which governs the Gaza strip, of breaking the terms of their agreement.

A source from Hamas said three of its men were in the tunnel at the time of the attack and died in the explosion.

It was the worst violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the coastal enclave since a ceasefire was agreed upon last November following eight-days of violence.

Hours before, violence had broken out after Israeli forces detonated part of a separate tunnel that they had recently uncovered, stretching a  mile from Gaza into Israel. One Palestinian militant was killed and five Israeli soldiers were wounded.

Hamas said it dug the tunnel that Israel claims was built to let militants cross deep beneath the border fence and carry out surprise attacks.

The Israel-Gaza frontier had been mostly quiet for the past year following the ceasefire agreed in Cairo.

Earlier in the week, a Palestinian was shot dead during clashes after Israeli forces launched an arrest raid in the northern West Bank. Several Palestinians have been killed in such clashes in recent weeks.

The Israeli military said its soldiers were using “anti-riot methods” after around 50 Palestinians attacked them. Israeli and Palestinian sources said dozens of Palestinians had thrown rocks at the troops, who opened fire.